I want to tie a rope high up on a tree. I do not want to document the process, because that doubles work. Yet, in the process itself much is revealed and interiorized. Perhaps it can be shared. Let us document by writing instead of recording.

I used to have a rope hung high up on a tree as a kid in the land behind the house. My father and my uncle hung it up, and it provided fun for years. Some weeks ago I was shopping at a home supply store and I saw a henequén rope and my heart beat faster. I knew I was meant to hang up that rope again.

When my fantasy faded away I noticed the rope I bought was way too thin (or my hands had grown bigger?) and it wouldn’t last long. I matured the first impulse purchase with some learning.

I braided the two ends so that I would have a thicker rope, but in the process more than halved the length I had available. I had to find a smaller tree. “Great”, I thought, “At least I’ll get to practice”.

Though it was on an incline and at first sight it looked like an easy climb, I underestimated what 25 years of not using your body to climb trees does to your skill. It’s recoverable within half a year fortunately, but I want to tie this rope now!

Mind and body should challenge each other in these feats. “Step aside body I can resolve this with cleverness” says the mind. “Oh really?” says the body, “well, move aside because I’m climbing this fucker right now”. But the climb was done with attachment, and as consciousness became aware of the danger it was to be dangling four meters in the air, it gave mind the precedence.

I look at some YouTube tutorials. I’m torn. One the one hand, it’s a miracle that I can type “tie rope to tree” on youtube and observe a blabbering ape do it first. But the cost I pay, oh dear… Hey guys, today I will show you how to tie a rope to a tree and then leave it to you to separate the wheat from the chaff. If you look closely, what is irrelevant is the ego of the host, what is relevant is the action he or she performs.

The ideal set-up for recording while performing action would involve at least three different contexts. Starting from the small, it would be the action of the hands.

If you are threading, in the ideal scene you would understand without words what you need to do to replicate the actor. In fact, the observer’s fingers might act on their own to mimic the movements of the actor (actor understood as the performer of action). Sound of the context should be preferably mute, if the sound of the fibers rubbings against the fingers could be heard, that would be idea.

The second context would be the gaze of the actor looking at the action he is performing. The eyes communicate the emotional aspect of the task at hand. Should the actor be placing hot stones in a temazcal as a shaman, his or her eyes would frown when touching the stones with the bare hands.

The third context would include the actor in his or her environment. It should answer: what is this place? what’s the temperature like? what is the ambient noise? It’s a simple matter of setting the actor into place.

Three levels of zoom. Can I document this without it being a hassle? No, proper action and documentation have a 1:1 ratio, and by documenting action one should budget for twice the amount, unless one has help from another mind.

But allow us to do a small trial, as a story board, to test the validity of the solution. Thinking in three different contexts, what storyboards are shown?


The verdict is that documentation gets in the way of fun.